Amazon lawyers on Friday asked a federal judge to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission antitrust case against the e-commerce giant, arguing that the agency is attacking policies that benefit consumers and competition.
Amazon's response comes more than two months after the FTC — covering 17 states — filed a landmark complaint against the Seattle-based company, alleging it raised prices and stifled competition in what the agency called an "online superstore market." " says and competes in this field. "Online Marketplace Services."
In its 31-page filing in a federal court in Washington state, Amazon pushed back, arguing that the conduct the FTC has labeled anti-competitive involves common retail practices that benefit consumers. .
The FTC's complaint, filed in September, accused the company of engaging in anti-competitive practices through measures that prevent third-party sellers from offering lower prices for products on non-Amazon sites.
The agency said Amazon offers listings buried at other sites at lower prices. Additionally, it was noted that Amazon was charging merchants more and raising the prices of products on its site. It also alleged that Amazon kept sellers dependent on services such as its logistics and delivery service, allowing it to collect billions of revenues every year.
In its request for dismissal, Amazon said the lawsuit faults Amazon for refusing to display competitive prices and offering uncompetitive prices.
"Amazon quickly matches competitors' discounts, features competitively priced deals rather than overpriced deals, and ensures best-in-class delivery for its Prime customers," the company wrote in the filing. "Those practices – the targets of this antitrust complaint – benefit consumers and are the essence of competition."
Amazon has also rejected allegations that it conditioned Prime eligibility on products — which imply faster shipping — on whether sellers use its fulfillment service, Fulfillment by Amazon.
An unpublished version of the FTC's lawsuit Unveiled in November Amazon reportedly used a tool – codenamed "Project Nessie" – to predict where it might raise prices and other shopping sites could follow suit. The agency said Amazon used algorithms to raise prices on some products and kept the new higher prices in place after other sites followed suit.
In its filing on Friday, Amazon said it had experimented with Nessie, an "automated pricing system" years ago. It was acknowledged that Nessie's objective was to "match the second lowest competitor rather than the absolute lowest" for "limited products and duration". The company also said that it stopped the experiments in 2019 and its prices match today's lowest prices.
Amazon also rejected the agency's allegations that the company is a monopoly. It said in its filing that it faces competition from smaller retailers to larger online and brick-and-mortar businesses like Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Apple.
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